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Spa Maintenance Problems

Proper maintenance reduces the down time and protects the spa.
 
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Scroll down to browse through some archived SPA and Hot Tub questions and answers.  Please click the Spa Topics Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Spa and Hot Tub Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Spa and Hot Tub Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Spa and Hot Tub Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for Spas and Hot Tubs, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

 
ColorQ digital water analyzer. Arctic Spas brand of Hot Tubs and Swim-Spas. MegaChlor salt chlorine generator for spas, swim spas and pools up to 10,000 gallons.
Model SV battery-powered Spa Vacuum. BlasterAutomatic Filter Cartridge Cleaners for pools and spas.
Nano-Stick Clarifiers, forall types of pools and spas. Pictured, directly above is an Arctic Spas Hot Tub, designed and engineered for use, in even the most extreme conditions.  Click the image, above, for more product information, about the Arctic Spa line of Spas and Swim-Spas.
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How to perform routine spa or hot tub maintenance tasks? Spas and hot tubs require routine care and periodic maintenance, in order to preserve or restore the aesthetics and maintain good operating conditions. Some products, are available, that can help with the chores and are worthy of consideration.  Proper spa maintenance requires water testing, to help assure optimum water quality and chemistry.  A ColorQ Tester is an all-digital way to eliminate all color-matching and guesswork.  If problems arise, refer to the Spa Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

Do you know what's in your water?  If you're having problems, with sanitation or water clarity, testing allows you to better understand the chemistry and determine the cause of the problem.  Once understood, you can select the best treatment option.  Understanding the nature of the problem, should be step one.  For information about our full selection of testing options, visit our Test Equipment Store.

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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼

Fixing Chips, Dings and Cracks In The Gelcoat?

Hi Allan, I Would like to know if there is a product for repairing chips or cracks in the gel coat of my spa.

Evan, 11/3/2016

Boxer Adhesives has an underwater epoxy that will work. It cures to a white finish. Avoid using silicone caulk, as that will interfere with any future painting, that you might consider.  You could make the necessary repair and then paint the spa.  Ultra Poly One Coat would be an ideal product. It is glossy and shiny and quite attractive. It is supplied with a non-slip additive, for use on steps and other potentially problematic areas.  Best wishes for the New Year.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 11/3/2016


Rail Is Discoloring?


We have a swim spa that is inground. It is only a year old. The stainless steel rail seems to require cleaning, as it becomes noticeably discolored or stained, after a month or so. I use an ozonator and a low level of stabilized chlorine. I ordered a ColorQ Tester, from your website, to make sure that the chemistry is well maintained. I think that I have done a good job and have never had algae or mold problems. Any ideas?

Jerry H., Boynton Beach, FL, 12/22/2013


Make sure the calcium hardness is in the 200-250 PPM range. Soft water tends to be more corrosive a
Sacrificial Zinc Anode, for Pools and Spas.nd this might help. Low-grade stainless steel could be an issue. These stainless steel parts used to be made in the USA. Now they come from Asia and might not be equal in quality, to the former USA made equivalent. There are rails, ladder and steps made from composite materials, that are better able to resist the problematic effects of corrosion.  These composite products are easy to maintain and do not require grounding, making installation less complicated.  Corrosion, due to high total dissolved solids (TDS) could be a factor.  The addition of a sacrificial zinc anode, can help protects against metal corrosion.  It is simply plumbed in-line and attached to the spa's ground, with the line provided.  Nothing has to be adjust or monitored.  The zinc will dissolve, instead of the other metals, which is why it is called a sacrificial anode.   I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/23/2013
 

Greasy Waterline Residue?

We have a spa and notice a yellow substance on sides on the wall at the waterline- it feels sticky and smears like grease- we were told it was mustard algae- so we treated for mustard algae - now it has turn blue green - we have purge the spa and now are back to the yellow substance at water line - HELP - want to get back to enjoying the spa.

Bobby B., 8/29/2016


Whomever told you it was mustard algae has probably never seen it. Mustard algae is pollen like and brushes easily. That is not what you are describing. It sounds like an accumulation of body oils, cosmetic residues and other organic products. Try using an enzyme cleaner to scrub the walls. Adding a weekly dose of a spa formula enzyme additive, could help minimize accumulations. Enzymes tend to decompose organic matter and should make a difference, over time. I hope that this helps get you back into hot water. As always, make sure the sanitizer levels are optimum.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/30/2016


Cleaning A Spa Filter Cartridge?

What's the best way to clean a spa filter cartridge. And how often?

Jessica, Tampa, FL, 2/6/2017


There are Spa Filter Cleaning Products available: these products are usually acidic, detergent solutions. Hose the cartridge off to
BlasterAutomatic Filter Cartridge Cleaners for pools and spas. remove hair and other debris. The cartridge should be immersed in a plastic container (5-gallon pails are perfect) containing water and some of the cartridge cleaner. Follow directions, as to duration, etc. If the container isn't deep enough, turn the cartridge over to immerse the other end. Hose off to remove all traces of the cleaner when finished. The easiest way to clean a cartridge filter is with The Blaster Automatic Filter Cartridge Cleaner. It attaches to a garden hose and automatically and thoroughly cleans cartridge filters. How often the cartridge should be cleaned will depend upon the water chemistry and the amount of bather wastes. Any time that the return flow seems weak is a good time to clean the cartridge. Otherwise, every month or so and whenever the water is replaced. Enjoy the spa. I hope that I was helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/6/2017


Spa Water Loss?

I have been losing about 2 inches of water loss per week in my 375 gallon spa. It is outdoors and it has been cold. I have a good thermal cover. Is this a reasonable water loss or could I have a leak? Thanks.

Tina, T, Mt Sinai, NY, 12/26/2010
Fix A Leal Seals pool and spa leaks

I don't recall ever seeing specific water loss figures, for a spa that remains properly covered, except for periods o
f actual usage. It seems to be beyond what should result from evaporation. An inch of water loss could amount to 10-20 gallons. I suggest that you double check for proper thermal cover sealing.  Look for evidence of a leak, such as puddling or wet insulation. If you conclude that there is a probable leak, it may be possible to seal the leak, using Fix A Leak.  It should be easy to use and works well, at sealing small spa leaks. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/26/2010


No More Chemicals?

I've been reading e-mails from others on your website and have a similar rash problem. My wife developed a rash within the first week after we got our spa. When she stays out of the spa for a few days it starts to go away, but it comes right back within hours of using the spa again. She had this same problem years ago when she life-guarded at a pool where Bromine was used, so I think she is sensitive to either Bromine or a byproduct. Since we have a ozonator, and I see you have suggested an ionizer or mineral sanitizer, could you tell me what they are, how they work, and how are they installed? I really need to find a way to eliminate the Bromine, and I really don't like Chlorine either.

Wayne S., 10/30/2009


The fact that the rash is affecting your wife and not yourself, indicates the cause is sensitivity to a chemical and not necessarily
due to poor sanitation. Ionizers and mineral sanitizers both work by adding metallic ions to the water. Ionizers must be plumbed inline and are electrically controlled. Mineral sanitizers can be plumbed inline or placed in the filter and are not electrically controlled. Your local spa professional should be able to provide you with either or both of these items. Used with an ozonator, it is close to a complete sanitizing system that reduces the amount of chemicals required for overall water maintenance and helps assure bather comfort. You'll just need a low level of chlorine, to act as confirmation that proper conditions exist and to act as a sanitizer backup. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/30/2009


Vacuuming A Spa?

I have a 375 gallon spa, this is outside on a patio, finished with blocks. We have a problem with sand getting into the spa, by being tracked in on the soles of our feet. The filter really doesn't get this material, as it just sits on the bottom and in the corners. Is there an easy, inexpensive solution? We Appreciate your help.
Hand-held, battery-powered spa vacuum.
M & J, Charlottesville, VA, 3/3/2008

There are two hand-held vacuums that are battery-powered, hoseless and fully portable. Either model will easily clean up the bottom of the spa and is quite reasonably priced, making it an ideal spa accessory. I hope that this information will have for a more enjoyable hot-water experience.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/3/2008


Draining A Spa?

We have a built-in spa that was here when we bought our house several years ago. Because we did not have it installed ourselves we have never known how to drain it other than by bailing the water bucket by bucket. Recently the cover was destroyed and needless to say the rain water is intolerable to step inside to bail. The spa has not been used in about 3 years, though it has been emptied a couple times since then. My question is - is there a way to pump the water out using the spa's existing pumping system? I suspect there is some sort of escape valve or something that would allow us to connect a hose and drain the spa by turning on the pump and bypassing the recirculation system. Am I right? If so, what do I look for to connect the hose to? Thanks for your help.

Linda S., 3/27/2011


The pump and filter must be located relatively close by and should provide access to the equipment. Look for a garden hose attachment. There could also be another valve associated with this discharge port, that will have to be opened, in order to direct the water flow to waste. If there is any doubt on your part, pay a visit to a local spa professional. Bring the filter and pump model number. If for any reason, it is not possible to pump out the water, using the spa pump, there is another easy option. Many pool dealers sell submersible cover pumps, that are used as part of pool winterizing. You can attach a garden hose to the pump, place it in the lowest point of the spa and it will pump out the water. After pumping out the water, you'll have to do some serious cleaning. I hope that I have been of assistance. Good luck and I hope that you'll enjoy the spa.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/27/2011


How Difficult Is Spa Maintenance?

I know a little about what's involved in terms of pool maintenance. Spas are completely new to me. I don't want to get involved in something that I might regret. I got your web address from a pool owning friend. Thank you.

Jerry F., Baton Rouge, LA, 12/3/2009
SmarterSpa Salt Chlorine Generator for Spas.

Spa maintenance has never been easier!  Today, there are many more choices for sanitizing. In addition to the familiar chlorine there's: salt chlorine generators, bromine, ozone generators, mineral sanitizers, ionization, UV sanitizers and more. It may sound complicated, but many are built-in sanitizing systems that require very little care. The spa already has an automatic timer and controls for the filter and heater. A little water testing and the occasional addition of water balancing chemicals are all that you'll probably have to do. The ColorQ Digital Water Analyzers have really simplified water testing. And if you ever get stuck with a water chemistry problem, you can email me again. When you have a spa. getting into hot water is a good thing! Good luck with your decision.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/3/2009


Leaking Spa?

I seem to have a leak that allows water to accumulate under the spa cabinet. I can't see the source and it is not severe, but I'm afraid that given time it will cause rotting and mildew. Any suggestions? Thank you.
Fix A Leak leak sealer for pools and spas.
Ted, Vermont, 2/2/2004


There is a product called FIX A LEAK that can be used to permanently seal the leak. The product directions will explain how it should be added to seal leaks that might be in the plumbing, shell or installed fittings. It has been sealing leaks since 1980. Hopefully, your problem will be solved. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/2/2004
 

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Painting A Spa?

I moved into a new house last summer. The previous owners had an inground Gunite spa put in a couple of years prior to selling. The surface seems to be very faded. I'm wondering if the coloring is part of the gunite process or if it was painted after the spa was constructed. If so, can I repaint the gunite and what type of surface preparation and paint should I use? I have the same question if the gunite is colored during the construction. Thanks!

Mark I., 4/3/2010

Ulta Poly One Coat hybrid-epoxy coating, for pools and spas.
The term gunite actually refers to the concrete that underlies the surface finish. The colorant is an integral part of the plaster finish. It could have been painted previously and could be repainted again. Close inspection might reveal a previous painting. The surface should be prepared, prior to painting, according to the instructions of the paint manufacturer. Ultra Poly One Coat will work well in this application and it is likely that only a surface power washing will be required, as preparation. Surface defects should be fixed prior to the painting. The coating is a hybrid epoxy and is easier to apply, requiring only a single coat and no primers or sealers. It features a 15-year warranty. I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/3/2010


Refinishing Choice?

We live in southern California, have an inground plastered spa that is about 14 years old. I have received several estimates to have it replastered and tiled to the tune of $3500-4000. Is there any alternative to replastering? We don't plan on living here for more than two years and don't won't to make that big of investment. I've enclosed a picture so that you can see the spa. Is there any other coating or something that my do-it-yourself husband could try? Thanks.

Sharon L., California, 10/17/2006


You could have the spa painted with Ultra Poly One Coat for a fraction of that quote. A properly painted spa will be easier to maintain than a plastered one. The chemistry will be more consistent and there will be fewer places for the algae to hide. There are lots of paints out there. Some need all sorts of preparation. Others can't be applied, if the humidity is above a certain level - which probably won't happen during the summer months. Some paints need several coats. Not everyone takes the time to do it right and the result could a poor job. A contractor can skimp and offer a lower price. Not really a bargain, if the spa does not look as it should. Ultra Poly One Coat is a high performance, hybrid -epoxy formula that only requires a single coat. It is very durable and long lasting. Surface preparation consists of a cleaning with a citrate solution and then a power washing. Humidity is not an issue and no primers or top coats are required. I hope that this information will prove useful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/18/2006


Removing The Cover?

We have a large hot spa and the cover is really a handful to manage. If it was a must to have one, I would gladly get rid of it. But, I realize that evaporation and heat loss would lead to a host of problems and expenses. What is an easy, affordable solution.

Brenda J., Greensboro, NC, 1/4/2009
Spa Thermal Cover Lifter.

Not having a cover is not an option. The best thing is to use something that will make it easier to remove and replace the cover. A spa cover lifter is just what you are looking for. There is a model with features that make it easier to open the spa and easy to cover it. And is space is tight, the good news is that it only requires about 6" of space. For more information, please visit the Stuff for Spas Store. I am sure that this will solve the problem and make the hot water experience even better.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/5/2009

 
Doing Something About That Ugly Cover?

I love the way my spa cover lifter works. Even my wife has no difficulty opening the spa. What I don't like is the ugly look of the cover, in the lifted position. Is there another type of cover or a way to hide it better? Thanks.
Spa scenic backdrops, for uplifted spa thermal covers.
Austin T., Apex, NC, 2/13/2012


I agree that a spa cover lifter does a great job and makes it much easier to use the spa. Actually, someone thought up the idea of attaching a graphic design to the exposed, lifted underside. Now you can look at lush greenery, palms trees, sunsets and more. Adding an easy-to-install Spa Scenic Graphic will transform the look of the spa. All the better to enjoy the experience.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/14/2012


Repairing A Crack?

I noticed a slight crack on the side of my spa. It is part of a pool/spa combination that is about 10 years old. I had everything painted about 1 year ago. Other than this everything looks good. Any advice? Thanks.

Barry F., Boynton Beach, FL 2/3/2005
Torque-Lock Concrete Crack Repair System.
There are several ways to do this. In the simplest case, you can use an epoxy repair material and seal the area. Don't use silicone, as it might not allow repainting. Aesthetically, it make not be the most attractive repair. You could chip out the crack, seal and fill in the chipped out area, with epoxy. The problem with this approach is that the crack can expand and the problem will grow bigger. To prevent a structural crack from expanding, you can use Torque-Lock. It use a staple-like part to hold the opposite together by application of torque. In has to be countersunk. Afterwards, the void can be filled in with epoxy.  Paint to complete the job. Good luck and I hope that this information proves to be useful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/3/2005


Oily Residues?

My spa has oily, greasy, deposits around the water line and skimmer. Any suggestions about what it is and what to do?

Jim I., San Mateo, CA, 3/29/2013


Body oils and cosmetic residues are the likely source. Chemical byproducts can react with these residues, as well as waste products and form water line deposits. Various spa cleaning products are available to help clean these areas. The best products are those that are formulated not to cause foaming. Some of the cleaning products contain enzymes to help with the removal. In addition, there are Enzyme Products that can be added directly to the spa water and will help digest and decompose oily, organic residues. Good luck. Enjoy the spa.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/29/2013


Water-Line Ring?

Great site! I have a gunite pool and spa. When I opened this spring I noticed a "ring" stain in the spa at the water-level. There is no stain at the water level in the pool - only the spa. I tried vitamin C tablets, Chlorine and a stain remover liquid, but to no avail. Can you help? Thanks.

Brian, Philadelphia, PA, 05/02/2005


Possibly the ring is due to the deposition of oily residues, body oils, cosmetic residues and fragrance products, that accumulated during the past season and have now have shown up after the winter. What you tried covered a broad range of possibilities. I suggest that you add an enzyme product and give it some time. This ring is probably organic in nature and the enzyme should help digest it over a period of time. Let me know how it turns out. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/3/2005


Horrifying Spa Conditions?

I have a customer that we delivered a brand new spa to in June. They were quite faithful in bringing in their water for testing with our WaterLink Lab. There was a time for two months in which we did not see them. When they did come in, at the beginning of the month, their spa was horrifying. I sent someone over to take a look at it and he said it looked like there were large pieces of skin floating around. When you took these pieces out, they shriveled up and were quite slimy. We then did a whirlpool rinse on the spa, not once but twice, gave it a good shot of chlorine shock, and then drained it twice. And again upon refilling it, these large pieces came back. Just so you know, that when I did the test the readings were as follows. Bromine was zero, pH was 7.1, calcium was 180, and the alkalinity was zero. This customer also has ozone. Any ideas what this might be? Thank you.

Dawn P., Penticton, B.C., 11/28/2007


I hope that they weren't using the spa. What you are describing is probably a film of bacteria and other microorganisms. Most
likely all of the underwater surfaces were coated with this biofilm. It is the product of prolonged inadequate sanitation. It is consistent with a zero bromine reading. The problem lies not with the test results, but with the lack of customer-performed maintenance! Given the severity of the problem it is probable that the filter was not operated and, therefore, there was no ozone being produced. You need to refill the spa and add chlorine to a level of 5-10 PPM. Keep the water recirculating and make sure you are able to detect FREE CHLORINE after 24 hours. If not, add more chlorine. Once a stable chlorine level is attained, the spa should be drained, cleaned and refilled. Start off with a dose of shock and begin normal maintenance. In this case, I would make sure that they are instructed, as to what should be done. Make sure that the ozonator is working properly. They should maintain 1-3 PPM of bromine, as well, to act as a backup sanitizer. Good luck and I hope this information will prove helpful. Your intentions were certainly good.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/28/2007


Measuring Small Amounts?

Im having trouble converting chemical grams to measurements that I can make, for instance I need to put 10 grams of cartridge cleaner per litre of water and I dont have scales. I use tablespoons and teaspoons for all other gear. How many teaspoons would 10 grams be? I also use a tablespoon of lithium hypochlorite each time we use the spa (it has an ozonator), and once a week dose it with a capful from the chlorine container. This seems to do the trick, but Id feel better knowing that I have exact measurements. Cheers.

Jill, Australia, 12/14/2007


Different chemicals have different bulk densities and a teaspoon could contain a very different weight. A teaspoon contains 5 ml. That could amount to about 5 grams, if the material had the approximate density of table salt. So far as the additions of chlorine are concerned, you need to add enough to maintain a free chlorine level of 1-3 PPM. How much will be required will depend upon the product added, the size of the spa and how your particular spa is used. Because you have an ozonator, you will need less chlorine, as the ozone is providing oxidation and helping to save the chlorine. Test the water for free chlorine and let that be your guide, as to whether enough chlorine has been added. I hope that this information will prove helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/15/2007


Needing Resurfacing?

Alan, we have had our hot tub about 5 years and it now has a dull stain around the water level. Cleaning will not take it off - it has worn off the finish. Is there a way to repair or cover this ring? Thanks for your help.

R K., Sunapee, NH, 1/31/2009


There are means to refinish fiberglass or acrylic spas. Epoxy, PVC and other coatings can be used to resurface a spa. It is very common in swimming pools. I suggest that you consult the local phone directory and look under pool resurfacing. A local spa professional might be able to suggest a company. Always check references and ask to see a sample of the end product. If you would like to save money, by doing it yourself, I suggest Ultra Poly One Coat. This is a hybrid-epoxy coating, that is easy to prep and apply. Good luck and I hope that the suggestion will prove helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/1/2009


Painting A Fiberglass Spa?

I'm struggling about something. You've given me advice on stains before that were very helpful. It now seems, according to our pool person, that some metal spa stains will not come out of our spa at the waterline and we're considering painting the spa. Some questions:

1. Is it true, first of all,  that some metal stains will not/cannot  come out of fiberglass?

2. You recommend the Ultra Poly One Coat vs. other paints. Firstly, it's hard to believe that Ultra Poly One Coat is a better product. Some advertise 8 years, one dealer thought I'd get about 5 years with a popular paint, before some peeling, given the high heat of the spa. Would I really get 15 years with Poly? That's an INCREDIBLE difference.
 
Secondly, if it really is a better product, I struggle because their colors are so limited and my wife does not really like their "pool blue". If you really do recommend it, do you know of any pictures of pool blue being used on a pool or spa that I could show her.  Thanks, so much.

Norm, 1/14/2007
Ultra Poly One Coat for popols and spas.

Some stains are tough! Try scrubbing the stain, with a few wet vitamin tablets. If this works, you should be able to remove the stains using MetalTrap Stain Remover. Have you tried an acidic cleaner or an enzyme? Painting a spa is far less common than a pool. From what I have seen, Ultra Poly One Coat, is about as good as it gets. I think it looks more like a ceramic glaze. The colors may be limited, but custom colors are available. So far as pictures are concerned, give Colleen, at Poly Solutions, Inc, a call at: 724 449-1040. Good luck and I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/15/2007


Filter Cycle Operation?

Dear Alan. You have been so helpful with my new spa, thanks to you I know what clear water can look like. However I recently discovered that although my manual says the default factory filtration setting allows four hours a day of filtration, the manufacturer put a new chip in the new models (mine) and maximum filtration is two hours a day, 20 minutes every 6 hours. I'm told that I could have the old chip put back if I so request. Is two hours filtration enough for a 320 gallon spa, used daily by one person and occasionally by two? Or should I request that original chip? Thanks again. Best regards.

Marilyn R., 6/24/2010


Years ago, I ran the filter for 4, 2-hours periods, so that the ozonator would be operated for enough time. Today many spas have ozonators that are operated by a separate low-speed pump, on a continuous basis. That being the case, the filter is operated only for the water quality function. I'll defer to the good judgment of the manufacturer, as your usage should not place any extraordinary demands upon the filtration system. Enjoy the spa.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster. 6/24/2010


Stuff On The Bottom?

I find sandy stuff on the bottom of the spa. I think that it is being brought into the spa on the bottom of the feet. Shouldn't the filter remove this stuff? Thank you.

Amanda B., 12/5/2006
Portable, battery-powered hand-held vacuums, for all types of pools and spas.

If it is sand, concrete dust and other mineral debris, it is heavy enough to quickly sink to the bottom. The filter intakes are not located on the bottom and may not be able to remove heavy particles. You may just have to remove these particles by vacuuming. There are convenient hand-held, battery powered vacuums that will help remove the bottom debris. I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/5/2006


When Should Water Be Changed?

We change our spa water every other month. It is used by 2 adults, 3-4 times a week. Occasionally, some additional adults use the spa. It has an Ozonator and I add some bromine tablets, to a floating feeder. The water looks good - even when I change it. Are we changing the water too often or not often enough? I appreciate your help.

Bill P., Moline, IL, 12/2/2009


Every other month seems quite reasonable. Considering that the water quality is good, even after two months, it would seem
Professional Sat Water Test Kit. that you are acting with caution and common sense. Better to change the water more often than not often enough. The usage a spa gets and the quality of the fill water do affect how often the water should be replaced. When water quality is becoming more difficult to maintain, that should signal a time for a cleaning and a refill. In any event, I would not suggest going more than 3 months, under any circumstances. If your dealer can perform a TDS Test, there is a very scientific way to determine when to change the water. Replace the water when the TDS rises 1500 PPM above that of the water used to fill the spa, unless there is a loss of water clarity and quality or the spa water is more than 3 months old. It was a good question! Thanks for writing.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/2/2009


Why Change The Water?

I haven't changed the spa water in over six months. It looks perfectly clear. Do I really have to change the water? Wondering!

J. L., 4/23/2010


The longer you go without changing the water the more likely it is that you will end up with a sanitizer resistant microorganism. The longer you go without replacing the water, the higher the dissolved solids will buildup and the more likely it will be that you will end up with clarity problems, loss of sanitizer effectiveness and loss of heater and filter efficiency. Even though you haven't told me very much about your spa or how it is used, these statements still apply. I would never recommend keeping the water for more than three months. It's just not worth it! I hope that I have been convincing.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/23/2010


Time To Refinish?

Alan, I am property manager for a home owner who has a 1000 gallon inground spa that developed a severe water leak around the main drain . I drained the spa and after locating the leak in preparation of repairing the leak. It took me a couple of days to dig down to the main drain line and underneath the spa to expose the main drain fitting to confirm the leak source. Unfortunately the weather changed to freezing after I drained the spa and made sure all the water lines were clear. The surface has developed several surface fissures in it causing the marble dust toweled finish to flake off. Some of these areas are 3 to 4 inches wide and several inches long. My question is how can I retrowel these areas with similar material. I have contacted the original Install contractor and he informed me that I was on my one because the owner never let them do the bread & butter service, opening and closing work. The spa is a gunite 20 person unit with a marble dust mixture troweled finish 10 years old. I have contacted several pool and spa companies with all stating they could give no advice. Do you know what might have been used in the mixture for the finish besides the marble dust? I removed one of the bad areas, and to me it looks like it might be silica sand with some kind of binder material, then the marble dust was broadcast over that to give it a very sparkly finish.

Carl U., 3/10/2005


If you want the spa looking like it should, I don't see any choice other than refinishing. Plastering mixtures usually contain about 1 part white Portland cement and 2 parts marble dust, aggregates, color particles, etc. After 10 years, it would be difficult to match the look, under any circumstances. Sorry that I couldn't be more helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/11/2005


Pool Chemicals In A Spa?

We have an inground pool and are wondering if we can use some of the same chemicals in our spa? We use a stabilized chlorine in an auto feeder and the usual chemicals. Our water supply is excellent and has not caused any pool problems. Thank you.

Carole C., 9/23/2004

Some pool chemicals can be used in a spa. The problem is in knowing which ones. For instance, the product that you are using in the automatic chlorinator should NOT be used in a spa: it would dissolve too quickly in the spa's warm water and is too acidic. The product that you are using to raise the pH should be usable, but in very small amounts. Many spa chemicals appear to be similar to pool chemicals, but are actually formulated differently, so as not to have an major impact upon the pH and the spa water chemistry. There are differences from brand to brand. My advice would be to use a Spa Formula Product to be sure. Have fun in the spa!

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/24/2004

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